Man crashed into tree after drinks with dying father

Norwich Magistrates Court was closed on Monday, April 4 after a fire over the weekend.

Matthew Rabel appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court when he admitted being in charge of a motor vehicle while above the alcohol limit - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk

A man crashed his car into a tree after drinking with his father who has terminal cancer, a court has heard. 

Matthew Rabel, 43, who worked as a roadie for pop groups before the pandemic, had gone to see his parents at their home in Hoveton.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard police were contacted by Rabel's mother who was concerned about her son after he left "upset", having been drinking with his father, who has stage three cancer.

Colette Harper, prosecuting, said police also received a report of an accident involving an Audi, in which the car “might have hit something”.

Officers attended and found the vehicle parked by the side of Brimbelow Road, Hoveton, with Rabel inside.

The court heard there was “extensive damage” to the front driver side of the vehicle.

Rabel, of Foundry Corner, Attleborough, had the keys in his possession.

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A roadside breath test was conducted and Rabel was over the limit.

He was arrested and found to have 92mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Rabel appeared at court on Tuesday (May 24) when he admitted being the driver in charge of a motor vehicle with alcohol level above the prescribed limit.

Rob New, mitigating, said the defendant and his father had had a "drink together" but Rabel had left, "because he feels so upset".

Mr New said his mother was concerned that he was "so sad" and "not coping very well" that he might try and take his own life.

He said: "His mother contacted the police because she was concerned".

Rabel had bought some bottles of wine before he "crashed into a tree".

He moved the car before sitting in it until the police arrived and pointed out the alcohol when he was arrested.

He said Rabel had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Rabel had his licence endorsed with 10 penalty points.

He was also fined £666, ordered to pay £105 and a £66 victim surcharge.